Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Amar’e, Gallo Sit Practice, Expected to Play Wednesday
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Amar’e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari sat out practice Monday with injuries, but coach Mike D’Antoni expects both to play Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks in the last game before the All-Star break.
Stoudemire missed Saturday night’s win over the Nets with a sprained big toe.
“He’s fine,” D’Antoni said of Stoudemire, who did not speak with reporters. “He talked to me like he wanted to practice tomorrow [Tuesday] so we’ll see but I think for Wednesday he’s fine.”
It was reported that the Knicks were considering sitting Stoudemire for the Hawks game and then shutting him down through the All-Star Game so he can get a full 12 days rest.
“No, Wednesday is a big game for us,” D’Antoni said. “He needs to play, unless he’s hurt. He’s fine.”
Gallinari also missed practice with a knee injury but is expected back for the Hawks.
“Danilo, just make sure his knee’s OK,” D’Antoni said. “Should be fine for [Tuesday] and Wednesday obviously he’ll be fine.”
The Knicks (27-26) are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
If Stoudemire re-injures the toe against the Hawks, or suffers another injury, the Knicks could regret the decision to play him. But D’Antoni said that wasn’t a concern.
“If they have to sit out a game, they sit out a game,” he said. “But not to think, ‘OK, we got a little soft period here we can sit out.’ No, we don’t have that. We gotta attack each game as well as we can and try to get as many wins as we can.”
Knicks president Donnie Walsh said he was encouraged by the team’s 105-95 win over the Nets without Stoudemire.
“Yeah, I was,” he said. “I was anxious to see them play because we didn’t have Amar’e; it would be a good test for the rest of the guys. I thought they did well.”
With the trade deadline 10 days away and reports surfacing that the Knicks might bring back 6-foot-11 former center Earl Barron, Walsh declined to comment.
“I’m not talking about any of that,” he said. “If we’re in trades, there’s no reason to talk about it.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.